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ML17

Hoovering--part 2

10 posts in this topic

So a couple weeks ago I started a post about hoovering and how hard it is to resist their seemingly genuine declarations of love and wanting to change, etc.

My ex had been leaving me love letters, phone calls, texts, e-mails to which I had been not responding for over 2 months. It was an amazing victory for me and the longest I had ever gone No Contact.  I really thought I was changing and finally getting a move on.

I've had what my therapist calls "c-ptsd" from being with this guy and I'm always worried about what would happen if I ran into him in town. 

Well...it finally happened. And it's why I disappeared from my post and never responded.  I was out with a platonic male friend at a karaoke bar and he saw me.  My body froze with adrenaline and I felt like I couldn't breathe or swallow.  He came over and said hello, to which I ignored and calmly said, "nice seeing you."

He was obviously very offended that I ignored him and didn't make a big deal of our reunion. Plus my friend and I quickly finished our drinks and left the place and went to a different bar.  Not smart.  He apparently followed us there and came over...insulted my friend...and then (causing a big scene) proceeded to declare his undying love and how much he missed me.  I told him thanks and to go away. So he did. 

Then he came storming back over...again loudly announcing his love and all that...looking me dead in the eyes.  I almost expected him to get down on his knees.

I'm sure you all know where I'm going with this story.  I ended up falling for it all again. It's so crazy. I don't understand how they can seem so genuine and honest.  He says he wants to marry me and have kids and it was horrible losing me. 

I ended up sleeping with him.  And the next day I had a full on panic attack when he left...which shows my intuition knows this is all so wrong.  He keeps trying to reassure me to calm me down and all that...still being "sweet" and talking to me all day....however, I JUST KNOW it's only a matter of time before he starts keeping me up until 4am throwing things, kicking walls and cussing at me and calling me a whore every night.  

And it all hit me when today because I called him by an old nickname I had given him...and he asked me what it meant.  It was a shocking eye opener to realize how little I actually meant to him, compared to what he meant to me.  He doesn't even remember the phoey nickname I gave him during our 2 year relationship. HA!

So I'm thinking more clearly...blocked him again...etc. 

my question after all this rambling is WHY?! WHYYYY do I keep falling for this?! Have any of you been hoovered back in over and over and over and over?!? 

It sucks...but I'm hoping I can be stronger this time.  I'm seems that each time this happens I'm able to maintain no contact longer and longer...so that's a plus.

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I can't really explain why. We are conditioned. We are learning, though. Just remember the pain and not the good times (but try not to dwell). Remember there is nothing good ever to come out of relationships with people like this and they will make you regret it no matter what. How they really feel is how they reveal themselves when they lose control of you. Everything else is an act and they cannot keep it up for long.

 

I had the same thing happen when my abuser gave me back all the gifts I had given him, almost all completely untouched. More than a year and he never used most of them at all. Never even set some up. They were thoughtful things he told me he needed or demonstrated a need for. Some big, some small. But none were meaningful enough to him to actually use and accept. Kind of made me think he would rather complain about the need than accept the help from lowly me. 

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Chachacha--

thanks for your response!  It's so hard to keep my head on straight during these times.  It even feels like maybe I was making up the "abuse" the whole time, but I know that can't be true.  Or maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought it was...or maybe he will TRULY remain this way.  I know it's impossible though, and I think I will have to revisit some of my old diary entries to help prove it to myself.

thanks for your insight--it helps to know that others have felt the same way and they've gotten out.

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((ML17))

I'm sorry I'm just now catching up to this thread. What an awful experience to go through that night, in the bars. I'm so, so sorry that your fear of running into him was realized. I think this attests to the truth of that fear, that he really does react in a scary, manipulative, threatening way.

Your reaction to him, going back to him, is understandable considering the amount of threat he placed on you. My guess is in that moment when he was yelling and outbursting in the bar--and probably the fact that he followed you, which must have resurfaced all of that hyper-vigilance and trauma--you decided to do what seemed like the best way of protecting yourself, and that was to befriend him again.

In psychology, it's called trauma bonding, and it's linked up with PTSD too. Basically, having a close, intimate relationship with the abuser protects you from being ambushed. It at very least allows you to know where he is, to manage his reactions, placate his outbursts, and knowing this helps a victim of abuse feel some measure of control over the situation, which otherwise feels, in almost every way, completely chaotic and out-of-control. So really, being close to him is a defense mechanism that allows you to protect yourself from harm because you know that he won't harm you if you're there, pacifying him. And what happens in trauma bonding is that it feels so difficult to let down our guard and leave because in some ways it may seem easier and less threatening to stay and placate his moods rather than leaving and having to deal with potential threats and run-ins with him.

That said, though, living in a trauma bond is psychologically and emotionally damaging, and infinitely worse than the pain of breaking free from that bond. It might feel like you have to really get over a psychological wall in order to completely cut ties with him, but I'm confident you can do it. You already did this once, and succeeded. Now you've blocked him again, and my guess is it won't feel quite as terrifying this time. 

The main thing is to protect yourself from any contact with him. Have you considered moving to a new place? (You might have addressed this in another post, and I'm not remembering right, sorry). Just for your own wellbeing, so you don't have to feel hyper-vigilant and afraid of running into him in public again? 

Also, a restraining order might be an idea if you're worried about confrontation again. 

It's hard to do what you've done, and break free. I think you are incredibly brave. Most of us had to leave, come back, leave, come back, a few times before it really stuck (I've already tried once, and came back).

 

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Whitebutterfly,

thanks so much for your response! 

Its really shocking that you mention this--because I once jokingly said something similar to a girlfriend of mine.  I said "I think I keep going back because it's almost easier to know where he is and what he's doing than to constantly be on edge and in fear." I kinda thought I was just in denial and trying to rationalize my stupid weakness for him...but maybe there really is some truth to it. 

I wish WITH ALL MY BEING I could move...but I'm locked in for at least another year.  After that, I fully plan on leaving.

Thank you so much for your insight.  I'm hoping that as school approaches (I'm a teacher), I will be too busy to be constantly worrying about him.  I'm going to try my best to stay strong and when I go out with friends, I think I will go to other nearby cities instead of our town. 

Thanks again!

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If you wish with all your being you could move, then maybe there's a way to make that happen. What is locking you in for a year? Let's brainstorm...

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Quaddie,

I signed my lease for another year because I've been outside of the US all summer and didn't feel like I had time to move. 

I wonder if they would let me break the lease if I told them I was fearing for my safety or something? 

I really am so frustrated and exhausted and feel like I'm going crazy.  

I just need to get away from him. 

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You can often break a lease - sometimes with an explanation, or sometimes just by paying an extra month's rent. Check into it - it couldn't hurt to ask, right?

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True. I think I will look into this. I'm in the middle of setting up my classroom so maybe if I can get it done next month, it'll be easier. 

Thanks!

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